Twitter’s NFT Profile Pics Are The New Blue Check



When I log onto Twitter, I’m always trying to make the experience more exclusionary, more capitalistic. I want it to be clear: Who on the platform has money to spend on silly things and who does not. I want a social media space that truly leans into the most valuable of users: tech bros. And on Thursday, my prayers were answered. They’ve finally done it.

The social media platform started rolling out a new feature that allows users who pay the $2.99 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription the ability to authenticate their own NFTs and show them off in their profile photos. The feature, which is part of Twitter’s “Labs” feature, changes your profile photo from the classic circle to a new, hexagonal profile photo. Users can only change their profile on the iOS app, but the hex-shaped picture can be shown on your Twitter account from any platform.

That means, finally, there’s another way for users to know which of their Twitter mutuals is insufferable. Now that so many people have blue checks, we’ve got a brand new status symbol in town.

NFTs — non-fungible tokens — are certificates of authentication for pieces of art you buy online with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. That certificate is stored on the Blockchain, where it can be accessed publicly. But imagine that art is expensive, not very good, and you only own a signed token stating you are the owner. Basically, by purchasing an NFT, you’re buying metadata. But, anyone can save the NFT you spent hundreds of dollars on by simply right-clicking it; they won’t own the art in a technical sense, but they will have the same access to it as you do.

It sort of takes away the entire nature of digital art — that it can be shared infinitely — and gives people distinct ownership over it. It isn’t a way to empower digital artists, but is, instead, a new thing for rich people to buy. Like, the Nyan Cat NFT sold for $580,000. Gone are the days of golden toilets; NFTs are seen by many as the new unbearably lame tactic to show off wealth.

Twitter will add a little icon that shows the NFT has been authenticated, so we can all know who really owns those ugly monkeys and who just downloaded a JPEG of the exact same photo of that ugly monkey. When other users click on the profile photo, they’ll see a bunch of information about the NFT. For instance, the Twitter Blue account changed their profile picture to an NFT they made. When you click on it, you get information about who created it, a description of the work, the properties, which blockchain it’s stored on, and more. You can learn more about the NFT — like its price history — by navigating to its OpenSea page.

When we asked Twitter if the platform will let users who don’t pay for Twitter Blue take advantage of the feature in the future, they said they plan to monitor feedback from the users in Twitter Blue Labs and will make decisions then.

But either way, there’s a new status symbol in town. The blue check is out, NFT profile pictures are in. They’re tacky, and I hate them. And they’re bad for the environment.


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